Top 10 Vise Hacks!





Introduction: Top 10 Vise Hacks!

About: -----------------------------------------------------------------15 year old, sick with a deadly disease called DIY-itis!-----------------------------------------------------------------Hi FTC! My I'bles con...

Get the most out of your Bench-Vise!

After building three vises, I think I came up with enough tips, tricks, improvements, unusual uses, and hacks to stop you from getting screwed while DIY'ing (pun not intended!).

In this Instructable I will show:

How to make an improvised Drill-Press with a vise

How to save space- Clamp tools in your vise!

How to save money - Know if you should build or buy

How to make an improvised vise with a C-Clamp

And many, many more!

Let's get started!

(Oh, and if you thought three Instructables in a row about Vises too much, This is the fourth one... :)

EDIT: Part two of this series, an Instructable with 10 MORE tips and tricks for bench vises is up now! I've also made a compilation video of my favorite ones from both this Instructable and part two, which you can view here:

Step 1: Build or Buy?

Build or buy? BUILD!

"As a "maker", I don't think it makes sense to pay $100 to $500+ on a vise, when it's basically a big chunk of wood/metal and a bolt. I know that I'm not the only one that thinks that." (from here)

As I've mentioned before, I've built three vises, and I don't think a vise is something you need to buy... Light duty and woodworker's vises can be easily built, and heavy duty metal-worker's vises can also be built.

Here is a list of all of my Instructables on how I built my homemade vises (like the pictures):

1. How to Make a Wooden 6" Bench-Vise (My favorite one, it works extremely well)

2. How to Build a Wooden Drill-Press Vise (My first one, not as good as I thought it would be)

3. How to Build a Twin-Screw Vise from a Turnbuckle (Not very useful, mostly an excuse for getting rid of my Turnbuckle ;)

There are many more people that built their own vise, so make sure to check them out here, or by Googling them: (Collection)

Step 2: Open a Tube of CA Glue

My tube of superglue almost always glues its cap on itself, making it almost impossible to remove. Luckily, because CA is so fragile, when you squeeze the cap in a vise, it crumbles.

Ta-daa! An easy way for opening a tube of CA glue!

Step 3: Pry Open Electronic Devices

A vise is a great tool for prying open electronic devices, from phone chargers and computer mice, to flash-drives and TV remotes.

In only several seconds, you can pry a device that you probably would have never been able to open because of its impossible screws. Why not give it a try?

Step 4: Hold PCB's While Soldering

Before I built WAVE, I would hold big circuit boards in my vise. This would come in handy while trying to unsolder big components such as electrolytic capacitors and relays, but it wasn't really comfortable for soldering components on PCB's.

I later came up with the idea of mounting a small vise onto the top of a microwave transformer, which has been a HUGE improvement for my soldering projects easier. You can see how I built WAVE- The Ultimate Helping Hands Vise here

Step 5: How to Save Space- Clamp Tools in Your Vise!

One of my favorite uses for a vise is for clamping tools. Whether if you're using it to save space by making a mini portable router table, or using it to hold your sharpening stone, it's always extremely useful!

In the first picture, I've clamped my wooden Hand-Plane so it'll be easier for me to joint boards, in the second picture I've clamped my mini bench grinder so I won't have to waste any clamps by clamping it to the table, and in the third picture I'm using it to hold my sharpening stone.

I also use my vise for holding The Flat-Pack Bandsaw, but it you can also use it to hold a sander, to help ease the task of sanding small parts.

Step 6: How to Make an Improvised Drill-Press With a Vise

Since I have only two hands, it was pretty much impossible to take pictures for this step.

What I did here, is mount my Dremel in My Homemade Drill-Press Vise, and bring move it up and down for drilling perpendicular holes. If you place squares on both sides, you can make this a really accurate Drill-Press.

Step 7: How to Make an Improvised Vise With a C-Clamp

I made this way before my grandpa gave me my vise. This was taken apart the day I restored my metal vise, meaning that these pictures was taken a long time ago, so sorry for the quality...

I bought a C-Clamp at the hardware store, and connected it to my workbench by wrapping some sheet metal which had been screwed down to my workbench. I don't really know how to explain this, but this was the best way that I could think of doing this.

This worked well enough for the projects that I used to make back then...

Step 8: Improvised Solder Dispenser

A solder dispenser? Yes!

By clamping a dowel in my vise's jaws, I can use it as a wire dispenser for soldering. As long as your vise is big enough, this can hold any type of spool that you want...

Step 9: Protect Your Workpiece - Use Soft-jaws!

Soft Jaws? I've made magnetic soft jaws from silicone adhesive!

Any type of material can used as a "soft jaw", which protects you workpiece from getting marked by your vise's jaws.

You can use plastic, silicone adhesive, leather, heat-shrink tubing, wood, erasers, towels, leather gloves and many more. These are only a few ideas...

Personally, I think I'm going to glue some Silicone Tape onto my Wooden vise's jaws. I think this should work pretty well.

Step 10: Save Time! - Open & Close Your Vise With a Drill

Time! Time is something many people don't have.

The vise you see in the picture is My Homemade 6" Vise, and it takes quite a bit of time to open and close it, so I've glued a small piece of wood, and inserted a screw through it. This way, I can open and close my vise in only a few seconds.

Alternatively, you can also build Izzy Swan's Homemade Quick-vise.



Don't forget to Follow me on Instructables, I have over 80 Instructables that I'm sure you'd like!

DON'T BE SHY! Liked it? Let me know! Didn't like it? Let me know why!

I read and answer ALL comments, so make sure to leave your suggestions, upgrades , improvements, and any other ideas in the comments below!



    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest
    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest

    40 Discussions

    100,000 Views! - August 31st, 2016

    100K in exactly 20 days.

    I'm having rpblems with maiking the thumbnail with Instructable's Pixlr editor. I will restart my computer and edit it...

    3 replies

    I've restarted my computer, and it still doesn't work. After editing the picture, and clicking save, the screen just freezes.

    I'll try to fix this ASAP... :(

    Gud work! :-) Same with me,try using pixlr online apart from Instructables editor.

    Thank you!

    This was a known bug, but I've heard that they fixed it :)

    Kiteman says that he uses the Pixlr website, which worked (for the future...)

    The silicon pads are useful, but there's an easier way to accomplish the same thing. You can buy pads for the bottoms of chair/table legs that are about the size of a quarter and already have double sided tape on one side. Stick them to an appropriate sized magnet and instant removable vise pad.

    1 reply

    The Mini Bench Grinder, is it an instructable??

    If so where, cannot find it.


    3 replies

    If you mean the little red and black thing, it looks like the motor unit from a Unimat Classic 1 modeller's lathe, with the accessory grinding attachment.

    That tiny Bench-Grinder isn't an Instructable. It's a "6-in-1 woodworking tool" that I got online, which contains a Bench-Grinder. You can see it here.

    I've used it in several of my recently published Instructables, which you can see here :)

    Yes, that is the cheap Chinese copy of the "Unimat 1 Classic" lathe system (which I have)(and is about three times the price).


    1 year ago

    love the soft pad magnets will have to make some for Dad as he's always using my towels :-/ this should solve that problem for me and I have some which I bought for him to use when welding corners all have to do is pinch a couple of them and add some silicon to them :-)

    Great idea thanks for sharing it :-) I will have to look at making myself some wooden ones for holding my jewellery findings will be softer than the mini-vise that I bought for the work :-)

    1 reply

    Great ideas for the beginning vise user. I have a metal 4" jaw vise for light metal work, but the advantages of wood for delicate and especially marrable surfaces (jewelry and such) are pretty nice. Thanks for the good info!

    1 reply

    Sorry, I can't help you with that :(

    Try Googling "basics of jewelry craft", that might help

    I love the magnetic silicon pads. With delicate objects I used to struggle to slip a shim of wood either side as the vise closed - but not any more!